TWO young men killed in a horrific high speed crash were both over the drink-drive limit at the time of the tragedy, an inquest heard.
Driver Craig Jewell was more than one-and-a-half times the limit when the car he was driving smashed into a tree and burst into flames.
The 22-year-old and his 18-year-old friend and next door neighbour, Joshua Tate, both died instantly in the powerful Vauxhall Vectra, taken from Joshua’s stepdad without permission.
Such was the force of the impact that Craig ended up in the back of the car and both had to be identified by DNA analysis, district coroner Sheriff Payne was told.
The Bournemouth inquest heard the 40mph speed limit was ‘greatly exceeded’ and PC Clifton Beard said the bend on which the accident took place could have been negotiated at 95mph.
The coroner heard that both of the young men had been out with Joshua’s older brother, 23-year-old Harry – to Lava & Ignite nightclub in Bournemouth – on Friday November 2.
They had been drinking vodka and coke before they went out and had around four pints of beer and a Jagerbomb drink at the club, said Harry.
Harry said he had insisted they both return home to Anjou Close in Bearwood with him in a taxi and said he was concerned because Joshua had been drinking.
Joshua and Craig were last seen smoking cigarettes in the garden and no one realised they had gone out again until police arrived the following morning to tell them about the accident.
Mr Payne was told the accident took place at 4.46am on Saturday November 3 on the A348 Ringwood Road, just before the Bear Cross roundabout.
Gary Newman, Joshua's mum's boyfriend, said he had no idea they had taken his powerful 2.2 litre car, which was only insured for him.
Craig had passed his driving test just three months before the accident and Joshua was a learner driver.
Post mortem examinations revealed Joshua died of cerebral lacerations due to skull fracture and blunt trauma and Craig died of multiple injuries due to blunt trauma.
Craig had a blood alcohol level of 132 and Joshua 106 – the legal limit for driving is 80.
PC Beard told the inquest the car was travelling north east at the time of the crash. He said Craig lost control and the vehicle mounted the pavement sideways before hitting the tree. Debris was scattered over a wide area.
He added: “The effects of alcohol on perception and behaviour are well-documented. The vehicle must have been travelling at a speed which put loss of control at a very high risk level. The forces in the collision were clearly unsurvivable.”
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Payne said: “It is very sad to have to deal with cases such as this, particularly with young men who have so much ahead of them.”
Dad pays tribute
JOSH will be remembered by his family as ‘a fantastic son and a great brother’, said his dad, Harry.
He was the youngest of four children born to Harry Tate and Helen Manclark, with two sisters and a brother – Nicola, 30, Natalie, 28 and Harry junior, 23.
He lived with his mum, brother Harry and Gary Newman at Anjou Close and was due to start a new job with a fishing company based at Poole Quay the week after his tragic death.
His dad, who lives in Sevenoaks in Kent, said: “He is going to be greatly missed by his family and his friends. He was very popular and hundreds of people came to his funeral.
“He was very keen on sport and I used to go to the gym with him. He played football for Littledown and all the team came to his funeral.”
Mr Tate said Josh attended Moordown St John’s and Poole High School and trained as a plasterer at college.
He added: “He had only just started going out to clubs because he was only 18. It was a terrible accident and he is missed so much by so many.”